Stainless coil lead times reach December, mill exits

Lead times for European stainless hot rolled and cold rolled coil are extending to the end of the year for most European mills. Only one producer is still selling for September but, having stopped sales this week, it is not quoting at the moment, market participants tell Kallanish.

Stainless tubes are also rising by €100/t this month and will increase a further €100/t in May, a re-roller confirms. Stainless tubes are following the coil increases but there is more availability compared to flat products.

Stocks of flat products at distributors across Europe are lower than in March as they are shipping more than they are receiving from mills. Margins are high throughout the entire value chain, but material availability remains low as mills, service centres and re-rollers in Europe are reporting delivery delays.

Given the short supply for all stainless products, sources believe that safeguard measures will be lifted. But this will not release the current tension in the European market as all countries are reporting a situation of strong demand and short supply, Kallanish hears.

European mills are quoting stainless HRC and CRC for November and December delivery. HRC contracts are pegged at €2,570-2,620/t delivered and €2,720-2,750/t for CRC, sources suggest.

Natalia Capra France